Wednesday, May 26, 2010

As Maine Goes... join in and help!

More than 1,000 students and teachers will fight hunger this Thursday by correctly answering vocabulary, math and other curriculum area questions on their state-issued laptops. This is part of the largest Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI)  annual student conference ever, held at the University of Maine, Orono.
The conference is partnering with the United Nations’ World Food Programme to host the students and teachers on a specially-developed version of, a web site where users make donations of rice to feed hungry people by answering core curriculum questions around vocabulary, mathematics, geography, science and more.
Maine’s laptop program is the first to work with to create a localized effort to raise food for the hungry. A customized version of the site will be available to challenge Maine students, along with invitees from around the world, to raise as much food as they can.
The project showcases how technology can help make learning relevant and engaging for students by allowing them to address a real world problem via a social network while learning.
There is also a local hunger connection – students have been encouraged to bring canned foods to donate to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s largest food bank.
The project also presented a technological challenge for network technicians at the University of Maine System, who are busy finalizing a wireless network that will host more than 1,000 wireless laptops simultaneously in the 1400 seat Hutchins Concert Hall in the Collins Center for the Arts.
A representative of from the World Food Programme will address students via video conference to kick off the event.
There will also be student-led workshops all day, such as:
  • “I came, I saw, iPod!” (Mary C. McCarthy & Students from Middle School of the Kennebunks)
  • News is Now, News is Complex, News is Us, News is Important! (Nicole Poulin & Students from Messalonskee Middle School)
  • Get Your Geek On! Starting a High School Tech Team (Shana Goodall & Students from Orono High School)
This sounds like a great idea to raise funds and awareness of what students are doing with technology! You can participate too – pass it on!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What is Mother’s Day in the 21st Century with an iGeneration, digital young man?

cross-posted at
Before I tell you about my Mother’s Day, I thought I would look up  some information about Mother’s Day.

What do Japan, India, Pakistan, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Bangladesh, Australia and many other countries have in common with the United States of America? We all celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of the month of May. You can read in more detail here at Wikipedia. It is amazing that this is such an international day of celebration. It is something many of us can relate to and something we all have a part in whether we celebrate our own mothers or we celebrate with our children or we celebrate with any and all mothers around us.

Back to Mother’s Day May 9, 2010. Our son, Daniel,  a recent graduate from the University of Maine, Orono, decided to make dinner for me on Mother’s Day. Where did he get his recipe, where did he learn how to cook this dish he chose, how was he going to measure up? 
How did he do this? He watched the Giada de Laurentiis television cooking show, found the ingredients at the store, then used the Internet to find the recipe to prepare the meal. The laptop on the kitchen counter replaces the hundreds of cookbooks I have in my cupboards. He has access to millions more recipes and mentors for cooking than I had growing up.

I still remember the day I  learned how to make biscuits from my grandmother. I had to drive hundreds of miles to see her and then I watched her prepare biscuits, which to this day I still make from scratch. I remember teaching and cooking with all my sons. We prepared hundreds of snacks, breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Daniel knows his way around the kitchen. However, he has also benefited from the numerous televised cooking shows. When he wants to prepare a meal, he has millions of options, not just those on my cookbook shelf. Daniel can choose from many cooking mentors anytime of day, any culture, any meal. 

Join us for Spaghetti with smashed peas, sausage and ricotta cheese. Yum. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Collection of Wise Post-its

Cheryl Oakes reporting from a remote connection for the Day in a Sentence group! Last week many of you played along as we collected your sentences at the Wallwisher, in the form of a post-it.
I will transcribe them to this blog post, but to see the original post-its please head over to

n2teaching says:HelpinHelping children maintain their composure here at the end of tg children maintain their composure here at the end of the school year.

Lynn Jacobs says: Testing is finally over, we're on the downhill run to the end of the school year and boy, it can't come fast enough!

Jim says: What a beautiful spring day it's been. We planted our garden just the other day and already things are popping up. Summer can't be too far behind.

Bonnie says: So far, the weather has been working with me this week as I drive around my neck of the woods for work and pleasure. So far, I have been staying out of the rain.

sara-p-c says: as the days pass stealthily towards my daughter's july birthing day, i am in awe of every poke, kick, hiccup, and roll she makes - i am sustaining a life here!

Cheryl says: Thanks to our friends in the Southern states for sharing their humidity with us in May!

Gail Poulin says: Why does it feel so wrong to take a week off from teaching to do the literacy benchmark assessments when we are finally rolling along with reading and writing?

Mr. Wood says: Freezing morning cold and dark, blue days slowly warm my day.

PBougush says: Patience is not something I practice while gardening...should have waited a week to plant those seeds with temps in the 30s predicted for later this week!

Amanda says: What an exciting time of year! Exploring favorite units (memoirs) and new adventures (DBQs). I love occupying this uncomfortable and exciting learning place!

Tracy says: My students continue to amaze me, I could never bore of them because they teach me so much everyday - including about artists!

Kevin says: I'm going full bore on using Storybird to create seven picture books in seven days -- another crazy writing challenge that I can't resist.

Thanks for all who played along! Wallwisher just might be the way to get your students writing succinctly, there are only 140 characters! Enjoy the home stretch for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Post-it in a Sentence aka Day in a Sentence

I am inviting you all to participate in a long standing project, started by Kevin Hodgson, owner of Kevin's Meandering Mind. This project started as a result of thinking about the National Writing Project and demonstrating multiple forms of writing.

Kevin constantly challenges us to think of different ways to write a message. Please consider adding your sentence of the week as a POST-IT at :

Wallwisher can be used in classrooms as a way to share ideas. My friend Karen Abbott, used it with her first grades as they shared their school rules.

Give it a try! The post-its will be made public at the end of the week. Thanks for adding your Post-it in a Sentence!

My Post-it:
Thanks to our friends in the Southern states for sharing their humidity with us in May!